Eatery / Watering Hole

It’s that time of year again, Linda! All the kids have been plunking themselves down in front of their TVs this evening for one reason and one reason only: The 46th Annual BacArthur Restaurant Industry Genius Grant Conferment Ceremony, brought to you by Susan and Thomas Q. BacArthur, The Gene F. and Billy D. McGillicuddy Foundation, viewers like you, and several billionaires. The festivities kicked off a few hours early this year, with a charming cocktail reception that appears primed to become a yearly tradition, should the food and beverage industry continue enjoying unprecedented growth–our economic experts unanimously agree to this trend’s sustainability as we close out 2019.

Several of the past year’s top emerging bartenders have been hired to wet the whistles of the greatest eatery / watering hole luminaries in our tri-state region. If you look carefully, you might just see the glimmering looks of magnanimity in the eyes of all these foodservice professionals as they wait with bated breath to find out who’s the lucky recipient of the prize that will allow them to explore their more scholarly pursuits for at least a week–perhaps a fortnight, depending on their current cost/s of living–without having to pick up a desperation shift at the last minute next Friday night.

Truly the American Dream, Linda.

Anyhow

The gratitude of my temporary inmates seems only to ring truer with each passing circumstance. I suppose I may have acquired a skill or two over the years where it pertains to the custodial caretaking that so many in this throwaway culture would prefer to ignore.

It’s not Stockholm Syndrome that these folks have come down with, since I’m not the one responsible for my subjects’ captivity, but it is definitely a similar phenomenon (a guy sure could get used to all the attention, anyhow). My wards do actually receive that kind of no-strings care that the medical insurance industry forgot about as soon as private concerns got their hooks into it (even though their advertising tries to sell a different story).

Perhaps because of this comfort, every single one of our emerging beer-krausening technologies has been behind schedule under my watch. Maybe it was a mistake to combine a halfway house with a chemistry lab. Our three chemists-in-captivity are functioning alcoholics who just use this particular project to get tanked on the job all day–with my tacit blessing, I suppose. Last Thursday, Ernie–the least-tactful of the three–decided to not look both ways before crossing the street on his lunch break (I do give them at least a little time in each week to get out and smell the flowers). Long story short, Ernie got hit by a shipment of cabbages (with a truck attached), survived, and is now suing the city for not putting a stop sign in a 40 MPH zone. As soon as he got back from the hospital, you’d better believe I gave him quite the lecture on roadside awareness!

Reformation

Emerging catechisms chime
early and indifferent rhymes
to the whinging snicket of gender inequality
as though a period of turpentine turbulence
wouldn’t cost us all an arm and a leg.

Foolish?
Perhaps.

But you never know
when a reformation
will require encouragement
from our stunted brethren,
creative or otherwise,
in need of topical pain relief
and a more liberal flow
of aesthetic proclamations.